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Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on his Department's funding for water and sanitation projects; and what proportions of this funding are provided for (a) private sector, (b) public sector and (c) community sector initiatives. 
Hilary Benn: Water and sanitation, like education and health, are fundamental to the development of poor countries. On World Water Day, I announced that the UK will double its funding for water and sanitation in Africa over the next three years, from £47.5 million this year to £95 million in 2007. DFID is prioritising immediate action in 12 African countries. I also announced increased support for the European Union water facility and World Bank water programmes. The key to spending more money well will be helping governments in Africa to improve the priority given to water and sanitation in their own country plans, so that they better reflect the needs and aspirations of the poorest.
DFID will finalise a report, Financing DFID Support to the Water Sector 200204" in August which will provide full statistics on DFID's bilateral funding, contributions to multilateral agencies and civil society organisations, public private partnerships, and contributions to research programmes. It will also estimate the proportions of the poverty reduction budget support (PRBS) and debt relief benefiting the water and sanitation sector. Many programmes directed primarily at education, health and other sectors also include a significant water and sanitation component. The total of all of these forms of support to the water sector is estimated at over £220 million in 200304. Comprehensive figures on total DFID support to water in 200405 are not yet available.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which water and sanitation projects funded by his Department in the financial years (a) 200304 and (b) 200405 were (i) mostly private sector, (ii) mostly public sector and (iii) mostly community sector initiatives. 
Hilary Benn: DFID will finalise a report, Financing DFID support to the water sector 200204" in August which will provide full statistics on DFID's bilateral funding, contributions to multilateral agencies and civil society organisations, public private partnerships, and contributions to research programmes. The total of all of these forms of support to the water sector is estimated at over £220 million in 200304. Comprehensive figures on total DFID support to water in 200405 are not yet available.
Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to promote oversight of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund by the parliaments of developing countries. 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 19 July 2005]: DFID recognises the importance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank being transparent and accountable to parliaments in developing countries. Clearly, such accountability needs to be at the heart of their relationship.
The main means by which parliaments should engage with the Bank and the IMF activities is through the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) process. This is a national strategy for development that sets the agenda, which donors, including the World Bank, should follow in each country.
In the past, parliamentary involvement in the PRS process has often been weak. However, over the past two years, DFID country offices have begun to support stronger involvement of parliamentarians in the PRS process. We are providing active support for parliamentary involvement in Malawi and Tanzania, where an independent Monitoring Group was established to oversee the joint commitments made around the PRS.
In Board meetings, DFID encourages the World Bank and the IMF to engage with parliaments as much as possible. We also actively push for them to make more of their documents public and will continue to pursue this both at Board meetings and in discussions with staff. In fact, in March this year a new Bank disclosure policy was approved which, among other things, makes Board minutes public. The World Bank is now working closely with parliamentarians in some of its borrowing member countries to involve them in the design and implementation of its lending programmes.
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The World Bank Institute has a major Parliamentary Strengthening Programme. A key objective is to strengthen the capacity of parliaments to scrutinise the allocation and use of public funds, and oversee the PRS. Since it began in 1996, it has delivered activities in a range of countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Indonesia and Uganda.
The World Bank Institute has also supported the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC) and the Global Organization of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC) to encourage parliamentary scrutiny and action against corruption.
Outside the PRS, the main means of oversight is the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank. This provides opportunities for parliaments to scrutinise the World Bank and engage more deeply in development policy issues. The independent Network has some 450 members from over 90 countries and facilitates direct dialogue between parliamentarians and the World Bank to achieve greater transparency of policies and practices.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average bed occupancy rate for each acute hospital in Northern Ireland was in the last period for which figures are available. 
The Department will consider the feasibility of implementing direct referrals to all Health and Social Services Trusts. Any new proposals will be determined on the basis of what best meets the clinical requirements of individual patients.
Mr. Woodward: Funding for cancer research was centralised in 1999, when the research and development (R&D) office of the HPSS was established. Since then, that office has allocated a total of £5.9 million for cancer research and related education and training initiatives. Details of expenditure on cancer research are not readily available prior to 1999. The R&D office is currently engaged in a major research programme involving some 15 different projects focussing on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Funding for cancer research in Northern Ireland is also available from sources outside the Department, for example the Medical Research Council, the United Kingdom Cancer Research Council, the Imperial Cancer Research Foundation, Action Cancer and the Ulster Cancer Foundation. The pharmaceutical industry also provides funding to support clinical trials in cancer therapy. My Department does not hold information on these initiatives centrally.
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